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You wouldn’t pump your high-performance show car with regular gasoline, or at least one would hope you wouldn’t. Why then would you allow inferior lighting to damper the look of your car? If you find that your halogen lights are dulling your car’s overall appearance, you may want to consider a HID conversion kit. HID kits provide many affordances that halogen lights simply can’t match. However, there are several things you should know before you purchase your first kit. Let’s examine some of these things, so you know whether or not a HID kit is right for your car.



  • Are you planning on driving your car on the street? If so, you shouldn’t purchase a HID conversion kit for that vehicle. Under FMVSSN 108, you must buy OEM parts for your lighting systems. Unfortunately, the powers to be have determined that conversion kits cannot meet the standards set forth by this federal regulation. Therefore, you should only buy or look at HID kits if you’re planning on using your vehicle off-road or as a show car. If a retailer tries to tell you that HID conversion kits are street legal, they are deceiving you to get the sale.


  • Why do you need the kit rather than just the HID lights? The reason for this lies in the overall voltage needed to power HID lights. Cars and motorcycles use a 12 volt electrical system to power their headlights. As Tim Taylor would say, HID lights need more power to ignite the bulbs. Therefore, you need a HID converter kit – complete with the lamp, ballasts, igniters and necessary wiring – to power the ignition.


  • The color temperature is not indicative of brightness: Color temperature indicates the amount of usable light output. The higher the color temperature, the less amount of usable light output.


  • You’re not stuck with HID lights forever (although they will last the lifetime of your automobile if you do want to): Let’s say you’re selling your car or you leased it and need to put on your original halogen lights. Switching your lights back to the original OEM ones is very easy – you can even remove the entire HID conversion kit.


  • Choose a reputable seller: This is probably the most important thing to do as a good customer representative can explain the aforementioned bullet points in greater detail. Look around and research possible retailers who offer good prices as well as effective customer service. And don’t disregard the internet. There are many online retailers out there that could help you find the perfect HID lights for your car.

Chris Hardwick is a self-proclaimed car buff that enjoys writing about the latest trends in the auto industry.